06/17/2009 11:00PM

Woodbine jockey Beckon in guarded condition


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jockey Chad Beckon remained in guarded condition in Toronto's Sunnybrook Medical Centre on Thursday after suffering multiple injuries in a horrific spill here Wednesday evening.

"He has outer cranial bleeding in his brain; that's what we're most concerned about," said Anthony Esposito, who is Beckon's agent. "If the swelling goes down, they think it will be okay."

Esposito added that Beckon had suffered fractures to his cheekbone, to his nose, and to his fifth and sixth vertebrae but that there was no spinal damage.

Beckon was heavily sedated but by late Thursday morning he was conscious and, while not speaking, was responsive to the visit of his wife, Cory Clark.

He was to undergo a Cat scan late Thursday afternoon.

Simon Husbands, who also was involved in the spill, was released from Etobicoke General Hospital on Wednesday night and was sore but seemed to be relatively unscathed on Thursday.

Beckon's mount, Oliver's Strike, broke down suddenly on the far turn in Wednesday night's third race.

The colt's trainer, Mike Keogh, said Oliver's Strike was dead by the time the track veterinarian reached him and that it is believed the gelding suffered a heart attack.

"He broke both his front legs, he went down so suddenly," said Keogh, adding that an autopsy would be performed.

Simon Husbands, aboard Kensington Oval, also fell to the track after being unable to avoid the fallen Oliver's Strike.

Naval Strike, ridden by Patrick Husbands, was checked severely to avoid the fallen horse and was pulled up.

Husbands jumped off his mount to go to the aid of his brother.

Both Kensington Oval and Naval Strike carried on riderless but were apprehended without incident.